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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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Uncooperative Tom

Drug Prohibition: Still Stupid

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America’s Democratic Party ready to legalize marijuana

 

America’s millions of cannabis consumers and allies scored a major victory Saturday in Orlando when the committee in charge of the Democratic Party’s official platform approved a measure calling for ending pot’s federal status as the world’s most dangerous drug, as well as “a reasoned pathway to future legalization.”

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/07/12/americas-democratic-party-ready-to-legalize-marijuana/

 

Meanwhile from the other member of the duopoly

Republican delegates unanimously adopted an amendment to their draft platform Monday morning that called pornography “a public health crisis” and a “public menace” that is destroying lives.

 

I swear, you can't tell these parties apart.

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America’s Democratic Party ready to legalize marijuana

 

America’s millions of cannabis consumers and allies scored a major victory Saturday in Orlando when the committee in charge of the Democratic Party’s official platform approved a measure calling for ending pot’s federal status as the world’s most dangerous drug, as well as “a reasoned pathway to future legalization.”

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/07/12/americas-democratic-party-ready-to-legalize-marijuana/

 

...

 

I'm not sure how moving it from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, as Hillary advocates, is a reasoned pathway to future legalization. It would be an improvement and it's about time.

 

I have a more direct and reasonable path: Just Say No To Prohibition.

 

Kinda catchy, huh?

 

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Medical Marijuana Fails To Make GOP Platform

 

...Medical cannabis has greatly improved the lives of patients with debilitating conditions, noted delegates in favor of the measure. They also said children “are being saved” by hemp products because their conditions often can’t be controlled with any other substance. ...

 

 

Opponents, presumably citing Reefer Madness, claimed that legalizing medical use would cause kids to become mass murderers.

 

No, really, I didn't make that up. That's really what they claimed and is really the argument that won the day for the GOP platform.

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They're slowly coming around...

 

Darren White resigned from Gary Johnson’s administration over the then-governor’s push for marijuana legalization. Now, White thinks that Johnson should be the next president.

 

Last Thursday, just before the end of the Republican National Convention, White took to Twitter to announce his support for Johnson.

 

“This year I can’t back the GOP,” White wrote. “And I’m not alone.”

...

“I think the endorsement by him implies he is on board with recreational marijuana.” Johnson told NM Political Report in a text message. “Not sure if that is the case.”

 

“Oh yeah, I’m on board with it,” White told NM Political Report with the caveat that he wants it to be done in a thoughtful and cautious manner.

 

White served as the state secretary of the Department of Public Safety under Johnson’s administration. After his resignation, White would go on to run for Congress as a Republican.

 

He also served under Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry as the city’s chief public safety officer. Berry is a Republican, though Albuquerque municipal elections are officially non-partisan.

 

More recently, White announced his role in Purlife, a medical marijuana company in New Mexico. The move that prompted Johnson to label White a hypocrite.

White publicly distanced himself from Johnson when White resigned as secretary of the Department of Public Safety after Johnson spoke in favor of legalizing marijuana in 1999...

 

 

Better late than never. Too many drug warriors are still sticking to their tools.

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Breaking Federal Law Outside the Dem Convention

 

The march concluded at the gates of the DNC, where most of the demonstrators proudly and openly toked up on joints in plain view of law enforcement. One of the march's organizers thanked the Philadelphia police for supporting their right to protest and decried the "assholes" who breached the gates of the security perimeter last night, which he described as a deliberate attempt to mislead the media and make the police look bad.

 

People are still rotting in jail for marijuana-related offenses, and despite the Democratic Party's platform, there's plenty of reason to be skeptical of what a potential Hillary Clinton administration would do when it comes to marijuana legalization and prosecuting the war on drugs. But a large group of self-professed potheads blazing up in plain view of the police — and thanking those same police for being "cool" — is still quite a thing to behold.

 

 

Good to hear that the police ignored the law breaking.

 

 

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This one is just for jocal:

 

The Fucking Useless NRA and GOA on Medical Marijuana and Tools

 

"At the moment it concerns me, but I'm not going to stop taking medical marijuana, and I'm not going to give up my firearms," Regennitter said. "I don't use (THC) recreationally. I use it because it helps me."

 

Jon Svaren, a 15-year Navy veteran who was honorably discharged in 2009, is a medical-marijuana patient who is recovering from a surgery last November to repair a severe injury to his back.

 

Svaren is also a gun owner who hunts and uses guns on the farm to control vermin.

 

"To take away my Second Amendment rights is contrary to everything I've ever fought for and contrary to every oath of enlistment I've taken," Svaren said.

Gun rights and medical-marijuana advocates both expressed outrage over the letter, which they say singles out a specific group of citizens and attempts to strip them of their Second Amendment rights.

 

"The cannabis issue has become representative of nationwide concerns," said Kate Cholewa, a board member of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association. "Citizens are increasingly concerned that the government, rather than expressing the will of the citizens, now sees itself as separate from the citizens and is imposing their will upon the people."

 

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing marijuana for certain medical conditions, but the federal government classifies the drug as a schedule 1 controlled substance and thus illegal for any use.

 

According to ATF spokesman Drew Wade, the Herbert letter was intended to provide guidance to federally licensed firearms dealers in complying with federal firearms laws and was not intended to speak to consumers of medical marijuana.

 

"We received a number of questions from federal firearms licensees and gun dealers on (medical-marijuana patients), and we felt we needed to provide some clarity so they can be in compliance with the laws," Wade said.

 

Officials for the National Rifle Association did not return calls seeking comment, and Larry Pratt, executive director for Gun Owners of America, declined to comment.

 

 

Fuck the NRA and fuck Larry too for their stance. Or lack of one.

 

Federal law made my father's guns illegal when we were illegally treating his bone cancer with cannabis oil because nothing he could legally buy worked anywhere near as well. They have no comment on that? Screw them!

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...

Do you find that your gun policies have a lot in common with Larry Pratt's gun policies?

 

Not really. But I'm not sure which policies you're talking about. You are not familiar with the GOA? Try being specific. Like this.

 

 

Let's be more specific than that. Let's be man-to-man, sonny, with no dodging like a little girl.

In what ways do your gun policies differ from Pratt's?

 

 

I have comments on the relationship between our stupid drug war and gun control. He does not.

 

As for the topic of that other thread, I'm not sure whether Pratt thinks the government should protect us from self-murderizing ourselves through gun control. If you have an article about his stance on that topic, I'd be happy to read it.

 

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Tom, who sent you?

Was it Larry Pratt? Is this where you want to discuss it? On a drug control thread?

You are elusive, I find, like a snake in the grass.

You peddle Pratt's rhetoric using the names of MLK, Adam Winkler, and the ACLU...but they would each disown you.

 

At issue between us is your irresponsible stand on guns.

And the immoral, unconstitutional outcome of your violence-based values.

Across eight threads, you have avoided discussing Larry Pratt, and any lack of similarity between his libertarian gun philosophy, and your own.

See you elsewhere. I predict that you will need to dodge me there.

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...

Do you find that your gun policies have a lot in common with Larry Pratt's gun policies?

 

Not really. But I'm not sure which policies you're talking about. You are not familiar with the GOA? Try being specific. Like this.

 

 

Let's be more specific than that. Let's be man-to-man, sonny, with no dodging like a little girl.

In what ways do your gun policies differ from Pratt's?

 

 

I have comments on the relationship between our stupid drug war and gun control. He does not.

 

As for the topic of that other thread, I'm not sure whether Pratt thinks the government should protect us from self-murderizing ourselves through gun control. If you have an article about his stance on that topic, I'd be happy to read it.

 

 

 

How fishy. You have not answered the bolded question.

And you have not answered for the devastation brought by the libertarian gun policy, incorporated into the SAF in 1974.

It got spread all around, and became urban myth... while dodging empirical evidence.

You can't address the moral overtones of the outcome.

You need to distract to slingshots and drugs. Interesting.

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No one "sent me" anywhere. That's just your paranoid delusion and is as accurate as your weird notion that I live in a trailer park.

 

Do you agree with the federal prohibition on medical marijuana patients buying or owning guns?

 

Or maybe you're like Pratt and have no stance at all. So far, you've both declined to comment. Did he send you?

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Your values and belief systems are lowlife. Like the trailer park demographic.

They call you "Bang Bang" in your online community.

You smell like Larry Pratt too, mate. Did he send you?

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Nothing wrong with living in a trailer park you fucking moron.

 

Now let's try to stay on topic. Thanks..;)

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The Drug War Is Toxic To Race Relations (because it's irrational)

...
Since encounters with cops in New York and other cities frequently involve searches for contraband, the drug laws offer young black men many more opportunities to be manhandled by the police than they would otherwise have. In New York blacks are much more likely to be stopped than whites, and when they are stopped they are substantially more likely to be roughed up. The vast majority of these stops—nearly nine out of 10—end without an arrest or summons. As Fryer notes, the cumulative effect of such incidents, especially when no evidence of criminal activity is discovered, can be poisonous:

Due to their frequency and potential impact on minority belief formation, it is [possible] that racial differences in police use of non-lethal force have spillovers on myriad dimensions of racial inequality. If, for instance, blacks use their lived experience with police as evidence that the world is discriminatory, then it is easy to understand why black youth invest less in human capital or black adults are more likely to believe discrimination is an important determinant of economic outcomes. Black Dignity Matters.

In a study published last April, University of North Carolina political scientist Frank Baumgartner and three colleagues show that the racial disparities seen when cops stop pedestrians are also apparent when they pull over drivers. Looking at 12 years of data from North Carolina, Baumgartner et al. find "dramatic disparities in the rates at which black drivers, particularly young males, are searched and arrested as compared to similarly situated whites." For example, "blacks are 200% more likely to be searched and 190% more likely to be arrested after being pulled over for a seat belt violation; 110% more likely to be searched or arrested following a stop for vehicle regulatory violations; and 60% more likely to be searched or arrested after being stopped for equipment issues."

The racial differences were especially large for discretionary searches based on consent or probable cause, as opposed to protective pat-downs or searches conducted pursuant to a warrant or after an arrest. Discretionary searches of blacks were less likely to find drugs than discretionary searches of whites, which suggests the extra suspicion blacks encounter has no rational basis. Furthermore, the racial disparities grew over the years, while the likelihood of finding drugs did not.

 

 

(emphasis mine)

 

Blacks are more likely to be searched despite the fact that searching whites is more likely to turn up drugs.

 

 

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Obama commutes some more drug sentences

 

Good for him!

 

Today President Barack Obama came close to doubling the number of people to whom his administration has extended clemency. The Department of Justice announced that 214 more people serving federal time in prison have been granted commutations. This announcement puts the total at 562.

 

 

Good for those 562. Only 9,500 to go to fulfill his Clemency Project goals.

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15 Years for Growing Cannabis

 

...Paul Fields, a gentle and generous Deadhead with a new wife and an 8-month-old daughter, ended up with a 188-month sentence for growing marijuana. That is substantially longer than the average federal sentence for sexual abuse (134 months in fiscal year 2015), robbery (78 months), arson (62 months), or manslaughter (54 months). Despite the possibility that he would be sentenced as a career offender, Fields pleaded guilty to avoid charges against his wife. “I broke the law and deserve to be punished,” he says. But especially now that Fields’ “crime” is treated as legitimate commercial activity in many states, his punishment seems grossly excessive.

 

 

15 years? I don't think he did anything wrong at all but even those who think his actions are rightfully a crime can't possibly think it's that much worse than arson or manslaughter. Can they?

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When does stupid cross the line and become evil?

 

A look in the rear-view mirror, courtesy of Team Alexis on FB:

 

As I am sitting here alone watching Alexis sleep I wrote this. I hope legislators get a chance to see it. Feel free to share:

 

Tonight I find myself sitting at the foot of the bed watching Alexis sleep. She is sleeping peacefully having just completed 509 consecutive days seizure free thanks to THC and CBD products but still I sit here worrying. You see, this week Liza and Avery are out of town picking up Alexis’s new service puppy and we are once again a military family torn apart by the drug war. Alexis simply can’t ride to Texas due to state laws.

 

Suddenly, I am back to our life in Texas. The countless sleepless nights flood through my mind. The horror of waiting for the seizure monster’s next attack still causes goosebumps even tonight. As a man of faith I know that God has blessed us all with this plant meant to save lives and he is showing it through Alexis. As a disabled veteran, I know I have to project fearlessness to Alexis while I am the only one here to care for her should the seizure monster resume his attacks. However, the scientist in me knows the seizure monster is still here in this room. Cannabis has stopped his relentless attacks on Alexis’s little body but the hunt (the disease) continues. The scientist in me also knows that neither prayer nor cannabis cures epilepsy. The father in me knows that Alexis’s facial ‘ticks’ whose return I have recently noted are the exact same ones she used to have when the monster could reach her. I can’t logically discount the significance of their return at the exact time that her doctors are saying it may be time to up her THC dose again. After all, she has some of the world’s best doctors monitoring the blood she donates to Children’s Hospital Denver Colorado every month.

 

However, as she grows, it is obvious something slight is changing. We adjust her dose every week for weight changes, but early on we were told by her doctors that as she approached puberty her THC demands would likely go up and perhaps go up significantly. Luckily, here in Colorado, THC access is not a problem but for CBD-Only states where the legislators serve double duty as doctors, we would be out of luck.

 

Tonight I sit here and for the first time in months I worry. I know it is mathematically probable that Alexis will have a serious seizure again someday. We have a whole-family plan to deal with that. However, tonight that plan can’t be executed because Alexis’s THC medicine isn’t allowed in the states along the path to Texas. Tonight Alexis’s support group has once again been splintered by Texas’s (and other states) choice of political expedience over life.

 

Tonight, Alexis is once again in more danger because of CBD-Only legislation and she doesn’t even live in a state that has it.

 

Texas Governor Greg Abott are you listening sir? Do you care?

Respectfully,

Dean M. Bortell
Disabled American Veteran

 

 

509 days seizure-free.

 

The best legal drugs bought her hours, not years.

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DEA Issues Routine Denial On Rescheduling Petition

 

the DEA has until now insisted on maintaining NIDA's marijuana monopoly, which is one of the ways it has obstructed the research it says is necessary to move marijuana out of Schedule I. A 2001 attempt to get DEA approval for a private source of marijuana, backed by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), dragged on for a decade and ultimately failed, despite a positive ruling from an administrative law judge. The DEA rejected the MAPS petition in January 2009, just before Barack Obama took office. Instead of reversing that decision, Obama appointed the acting administrator who made it, Michele Leonhart, to head the agency. Now Leonhart, who famously refused to say whether marijuana is less dangerous than heroin, is gone, replaced by an acting administrator who calls medical marijuana "a joke" but apparently is willing to let researchers prove him wrong.

 

"As long as folks abide by the rules, and we're going to regulate that, we want to expand the availability, the variety, the type of marijuana available to legitimate researchers," Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg told NPR. "If our understanding of the science changes, that could very well drive a new decision."

 

Rosenberg emphasized that the decision to keep marijuana in Schedule I was based exclusively on a judgment about its medical value. "This decision isn't based on danger," he said. "This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine, and it's not."

 

 

But the dangerous anti-seizure drugs that gave Alexis hours of relief are OK. 509 days seizure free with far fewer and less severe side effects is not nearly as safe and effective. Just a joke. Hah. Hilarious.

 

You really can't blame the DEA. Every bureaucracy wants to continue and expand its funding. They're just protecting their money. Congress and/or the President could stop this insanity but the Congress is still too full of fossilized drug warriors like Grassley and the President just isn't interested. He figures someone else should lead on this issue.

 

 

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NYTimes opinion - Stop Treating Marijuana Like Heroin

 

Unfortunately behind a paywall. Here's a clip -

 

Supporters of a saner marijuana policy scored a small victory this week when the Obama administration said it would authorize more institutions to grow marijuana for medical research. But the government passed up an opportunity to make a more significant change.

The Drug Enforcement Administration on Thursday turned down two petitions one from the governors of Rhode Island and Washington and the other from a resident of New Mexico requesting that marijuana be removed from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. Drugs on that list, which include heroin and LSD, are deemed to have no medical use; possession is illegal under federal law, and researchers have to jump through many hoops to obtain permission to study them and obtain samples to study. Having marijuana on that list is deeply misguided since many scientists and President Obama have said that it is no more dangerous than alcohol.

Over the years, Congress and attorneys general have deferred to the expertise of the D.E.A., which is the part of the Justice Department that enforces the nations drug laws. So the D.E.A. has amassed extensive control over drug policy making. It determines who gets to grow marijuana for research and which scholars are allowed to study it, for example. It has strongly resisted efforts by scientists, state officials and federal lawmakers to reclassify marijuana by rejecting or refusing to acknowledge evidence that marijuana is not nearly as harmful as federal law treats it.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/13/opinion/a-small-victory-for-more-sensible-marijuana-policies.html

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I'm guilty of not reading every post here, but a comment from someone who lives in Washington State, where the stuff is legal:

 

I've played golf with more than a few law enforcement folk and medics statewide since legalization, and all of them say that legalized marijuana has made their jobs easier and safer. Even meth addicts imbibe, so when there's a Call, the Mellow that has resulted means that less officers are needed, and the EMT's and Blues are pretty much welcomed by everybody. Not a scientific study, but I think significant. Add to that tax income. The state is working on making the legal product cheaper than any of the black market stuff, to get rid of that pit of violence. Even in a really scary town like this, the vibe is less violent and tense. It's just easier to get high legally, so people do it.

 

The medical uses are wonderful, but that is frosting, at this point. I know he's long dead while porking the hooker, but Rockefeller and all his neo Calvinist fucking crazed friends have to get their heads out of their asses.

 

I think any environmental problems can be worked out. It's a crop.

 

Canadians worship Washington State. They consider us rational. 'No more ruined lives' is what you hear. Refreshing. Really Nice. Its like what being an American used to be like.

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NYTimes opinion - Stop Treating Marijuana Like Heroin

 

Unfortunately behind a paywall. Here's a clip -

 

Supporters of a saner marijuana policy scored a small victory this week when the Obama administration said it would authorize more institutions to grow marijuana for medical research. But the government passed up an opportunity to make a more significant change.

The Drug Enforcement Administration on Thursday turned down two petitions one from the governors of Rhode Island and Washington and the other from a resident of New Mexico requesting that marijuana be removed from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. Drugs on that list, which include heroin and LSD, are deemed to have no medical use; possession is illegal under federal law, and researchers have to jump through many hoops to obtain permission to study them and obtain samples to study. Having marijuana on that list is deeply misguided since many scientists and President Obama have said that it is no more dangerous than alcohol.

Over the years, Congress and attorneys general have deferred to the expertise of the D.E.A., which is the part of the Justice Department that enforces the nations drug laws. So the D.E.A. has amassed extensive control over drug policy making. It determines who gets to grow marijuana for research and which scholars are allowed to study it, for example. It has strongly resisted efforts by scientists, state officials and federal lawmakers to reclassify marijuana by rejecting or refusing to acknowledge evidence that marijuana is not nearly as harmful as federal law treats it.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/13/opinion/a-small-victory-for-more-sensible-marijuana-policies.html

 

Good to see that the NY Times is finally saying what libertarians have been saying for years. And no, it's not that we don't like laws against littering. We don't like stupid and harmful laws.

 

Did they happen to mention that Obama's first appointment to head the DEA came out and said marijuana is as dangerous as heroin? Or that his next appointment learned the PR lesson and just won't say whether that's true or not? Meanwhile, actions speak louder than words and the DEA continues to treat marijuana like heroin.

 

As I said a few posts back, the DEA isn't really to blame. They're protecting their turf and their budget and enforcing laws made by the legislative and executive branches.

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DEA's Self-Contradictory Reasons To Keep Cannabis In Schedule 1

 

Admitting that it is less dangerous than drugs in Schedules 2 and 3, DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg said:

 

"Schedule I includes some substances that are exceptionally dangerous and some that are less dangerous (including marijuana, which is less dangerous than some substances in other schedules)," Rosenberg writes in an August 11 letter to Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, whose predecessors filed one of the rescheduling petitions that the DEA rejected this month. "That strikes some people as odd, but the criteria [sic] for inclusion in Schedule I is not relative danger….It is best not to think of drug scheduling as an escalating 'danger' scale—rather, specific statutory criteria (based on medical and scientific evidence) determine into which schedule a substance is placed."

 

 

So it's not about danger.

 

Schedule I drugs are supposed to lack "accepted safety for use…under medical supervision."

 

 

Oh, that explains it. It's about safety, which is completely unrelated to danger.

 

The difficulty in finding an appropriate schedule for marijuana reflects a broader problem with the CSA's classification scheme. If a controlled substance does not have an accepted medical use (however that's defined), it has to go in Schedule I, even if it has a low potential for abuse and is safer than over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or diphenhydramine. The only alternative is to take the drug out of the schedules entirely, which in the case of marijuana can be done only by Congress, given the CSA's deference to the Single Convention, which allows medical use of cannabis but calls for strict regulation.

 

Although the DEA has the power to move marijuana from one schedule to another, it was Congress that put it in Schedule I to begin with. The CSA was not intended to regulate recreational intoxicants, which are banned unless Congress omitted them from the law's schedules, as it did with alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. The DEA's assumption that all nonmedical use of marijuana constitutes abuse may be absurd, but it's an absurdity that Congress demanded.

 

And while arguing about Hillary and Donald, we're about to do what we always do and reelect incumbents to Congress at a very high rate.

 

It's an absurdity we are demanding. Except for a few libertarians.

 

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Kill Them All

 

That's what Rodrigo Duterte is doing in the Phillipines. An admirable effort according to US drug warriors.

 

HRI identified 33 countries that authorize the death penalty for drug offenses, but it classified just seven—China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia—as "high application states," meaning "the sentencing of people convicted of drug offences to death and/or carrying out executions are routine and mainstreamed part of the criminal justice system." Three of those countries—China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia—account for almost all known executions of drug offenders: 546 out of 549 in 2013.

 

...

 

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the crime bill that former President Bill Clinton alternately brags about and apologizes for, authorized the death penalty for large-scale drug trafficking, a provision that has never been carried out. It probably never will, since it seems to be unconstitutional under Kennedy v. Louisiana, the 2008 case in which the Supreme Court said the Eighth Amendment requires that the death penalty be reserved for "crimes that take the life of the victim."

 

As far as William J. Bennett is concerned, that's a shame. Back in 1989, when he was running the Office of National Drug Control Policy under Clinton's predecessor, Bennett said "there's no moral problem" with beheading drug dealers—the preferred method in Saudi Arabia. Although beheading might be legally problematic, he said on Larry King Live, it would be "morally proportional to the nature of the offense." And Bennett ought to know, since he has a Ph.D. in philosophy. "I used to teach ethics," he told Larry King. "Trust me." The following year, Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates took Bennett's logic a step further, telling a Senate committee that casual drug users "ought to be taken out and shot" as traitors in the war on drugs.

 

Although Rodrigo Duterte is sometimes compared to Donald Trump, he could be taking his cues from Bennett, Gates, and other American drug warriors who heartily endorsed lethal responses to nonviolent actions. Duterte's portrayal of meth addicts as subhuman and unworthy of life also has parallels in American propaganda. His main distinction is that he follows through on the murderous implications of his mindless anti-drug rhetoric—something voters apparently admire. The New York Times reports that "Mr. Duterte's crackdown has been hugely popular."

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Another hat tip to Obama as he commuted a bunch more ridiculous mandatory minimum drug sentences.

 

Good for him and for us. He's doing hundreds at a time but there are still thousands of pending clemency applications. Meanwhile, somehow, life sentences for random Deadheads have not won the drug war and I'm glad Obama sees that. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

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9th Circuit Upholds Ban on Sales of Tools to Medical Marijuana Card Holders

 

...

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told gun sellers they can assume a person with a medical marijuana card uses the drug.

 

The 9th Circuit in its 3-0 decision agreed that it's reasonable for federal regulators to assume a medical marijuana card holder is more likely to use the drug.

 

In addition, a ban on the sale of guns to marijuana and other drug users is reasonable because the use of such drugs "raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated," Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff said.

...

 

 

I think the court is right that this is what the law says. It's another example of how the war on drugs and the war on guns combine to erode our rights.

 

I also think that alcohol use "raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated," and this is another good reason we should treat cannabis more like alcohol.

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Portugal’s Example: What Happened After It Decriminalized All Drugs, From Weed to Heroin

 

As diplomats gather at the United Nations in New York this week to consider the future of global drug policy, one Portuguese official, João Goulão, will likely command attention that far outstrips his country's influence in practically any other area. That's because 16 years ago, Portugal took a leap and decriminalized the possession of all drugs — everything from marijuana to heroin. By most measures, the move has paid off.

 

...

 

"We had a lot of criticism at first," recalled Goulão, a physician specializing in addiction treatment whose work led Portugal to reform its drug laws in 2000, and who is today its national drug coordinator. After decriminalizing, the first inquiries Portugal received from the International Narcotics Control Board — the quasi-judicial UN oversight body established by the UN drug convention system — were sharp and scolding.

 

"Now things have changed completely," he went on. "We are pointed to as an example of best practices inside the spirit of the conventions." Indeed, Werner Sipp, the new head of the board, said as much at the UN's Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna earlier this year.

 

 

The doomcasters were wrong again. Ending prohibition is not the end of the world. Most measures of the harm brought by drugs have gotten better, not worse.

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I hope to see some jury nullification here in FL soon

 

Fifty-four-year-old Bridget Kirouac was followed home by Martin County sheriff’s deputies just over two years ago after a visit to Mr. Nice Guy Hydroponics. Deputies raided her home and found about 20 marijuana plants, some cannabis tincture and some harvested pot.

She said she needs the marijuana to help get her through days of pain and depression.

Facing 10 years in prison if convicted, Kirouac is scheduled to stand trial in Stuart next week, and her attorney is hopeful he can present a defense claiming the pot was medicinal and that a recommendation from Kirouac’s doctor in Maine is sufficient for her to legally use cannabis here.

“I will show the jury that this is a medical necessity,” said Stuart defense attorney Michael Minardi in a telephone interview Friday, “that she has a right to this treatment.”

 

 

 

 

He might convince the jury of that but I don't think it matters under our law. I don't think our law accepts certification by a doc from another state to establish medical necessity.

 

So even if he does convince the jury that this woman has a medical need, failing to convict her would still be jury nullification.

 

Her trial was apparently delayed and went to the jury yesterday.

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Kirouac Not Guilty

 

I don't see how this can be viewed as anything but jury nullification.

 

It's more and more common and good to see jurors exercising their power to tell drug warriors to shove it up their ass.

 

It would be even better if voters did it, but I guess we'll have to wait some more years for that.

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Legalize Heroin

 

The last five years have seen heroin overdose deaths dramatically spike in the United States, from just over 3,000 in 2010 to more than 10,500 in 2014, the latest year for which the National Institutes of Health provides data. In fact, drug overdose deaths now outpace car crashes in taking American lives, and about half those overdoses are attributable to heroin and other opioids.

 

...

 

here in the States, strict prohibition has utterly failed to prevent drug use rates at world-record levels. Drug war spending is perhaps the only thing to spike faster than heroin addiction, and we have nothing to show for it. In 2016, Rolling Stone notes, "the federal government is spending more than $1,100 per person to combat the habit of America's 27 million illicit-drug users, and 22 million of them use marijuana." With more than $1.5 trillion down the drain, U.S. addiction rates have utterly failed to improve.

 

If anything, the drug war makes illicit opioid use more dangerous than it otherwise would be. Heroin abuse often begins as an extension of opioid addiction fostered by over-prescription, and once users get their supply from the street instead of the pharmacy, prohibition produces tainted and mislabeled products that make overdose more likely — just like it did with alcohol nearly a century ago.

 

Criminalizing the heroin supply chain produces a risky and therefore lucrative market for violent criminals, leading to casualties far beyond the toll of drug abuse itself.

 

 

Drug prohibition is causing the same list of problems that alcohol prohibition did.

 

Legalization made alcohol safer. Not safe. Safer.

 

On that subject, a year ago I was afraid we would soon lose my alcoholic brother. I'm happy to report he hasn't had a drop of alcohol since late last year and doesn't seem to miss it a bit. Watching his decline, I could see why the Temperance Movement wanted alcohol prohibition, but the horrors of addiction are not cured by prohibition. They are cured one individual at a time and prohibition makes that more difficult.

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643,121 marijuana arrests in 2015

 

Such a colossal waste.

 

FBI statistics released last week show that the number of marijuana arrests in the United States, after rising slightly in 2014, fell by 8 percent last year, reaching the lowest level in two decades. The total was nevertheless more than twice the number in 1991, before a nationwide cannabis crackdown that peaked in 2007. The number of marijuana arrests has fallen more or less steadily since then, reflecting a growing consensus that cannabis consumers should not be treated as criminals.

 

The FBI's numbers indicate that police across the country made 643,121 marijuana arrests in 2015, 26 percent fewer than the 2007 total of 872,720. As usual, the vast majority of pot arrests—almost nine out of 10—were for possession, as opposed to sale or cultivation. A 2006 analysis by the Sentencing Project's Ryan King and Marc Mauer found that less than 6 percent of marijuana arrests lead to a felony conviction.

 

It's not clear exactly why police started targeting cannabis consumers with renewed zeal in the early 1990s. Changes in marijuana use do not account for the surge in arrests. To the contrary, the risk of arrest for the average cannabis consumer rose substantially between 1991 and 2007, when the number of marijuana arrests tripled. Marijuana accounted for 52 percent of all drug arrests by 2010, up from less than 29 percent in 1991. "Since 1990," King and Mauer noted, "the primary focus of the war on drugs has shifted to low-level marijuana offenses. During the study period [1990 through 2002], 82% of the increase in drug arrests nationally (450,000) was for marijuana offenses, and virtually all of that increase was in possession offenses."

Last year the lion's share of drug arrests—43 percent—still involved marijuana. But that percentage has been dropping since 2010.

 

...

 

Still, 643,121 marijuana arrests are 643,121 too many. Even though marijuana offenders typically do not spend much time behind bars, they have done nothing to deserve the cost, inconvenience, humiliation, loss of freedom, and ancillary penalties associated with an arrest.

 

"While the numbers are thankfully dropping over time," says Marijuana Majority Chairman Tom Angell, "it's alarming and simply unacceptable that someone is harassed by the police just for marijuana every 49 seconds in this country....

 

 

Mr. Angell is right but I wouldn't put it that way. "Harassed by the police" implies the police are doing something wrong. They're doing what they have been asked to do for the most part. It's asking them to do this that is wrong.

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The Alaskan pot activist who quit her newscaster job on-air last year, now faces up to 40 years of prison. Her blog suggests that the prosecutor for her case lied to the Grand Jury to get the indictment for ten felonies.

 

https://www.theweedblog.com/charlos-place-the-lynching-of-charlo-greene/

 

Kinda looks to me like she's being railroaded on this one. She has guts, gave up a lot, likely her on-air quit may have pulled the extra votes needed to get the medical law passed in Alaska, someone in Alaska seems to want to see her in prison, I hope something intercedes here.

 

3-charlo-greene-weed-535x560.png

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Hillary On Cannabis Legalization: Short In All Senses Of The Word




URSULA BURNS: So long means thumbs up, short means thumbs down; or long means I support, short means I don't. I'm going to start with — I'm going to give you about ten long-shorts.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Even if you could make money on a short, you can't answer short.

URSULA BURNS: You can answer short, but you got to be careful about letting anybody else know that. They will bet against you. So legalization of pot?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Short in all senses of the word. (emphasis added)

...

The Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016—who had to "evolve" a number of her long-held policies and supposed principles just to make it through her bruising primary battle with Bernie Sanders—now fully supports both medical marijuana and the removal of the drug from the DEA's Schedule I classification.

The question is, which Hillary Clinton should be believed?

 

I take "all senses of the word" to mean she opposes legalization and she thinks she can't get the lobbying money from legalization proponents that she can get from those opposed.

 

So I believe the 2014 version of Hillary.

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Marijuana Legalization Likely in 3 More States

 

A look at the latest initiative-specific polling suggests that marijuana will be legalized for recreational use in California, Maine, and Massachusetts, while Florida will become the first Southern state to recognize marijuana as a medicine.

 

 

Florida will continue our tradition of doing this the stupid way, through constitutional amendment.

 

Our cluttered constitution will pick up more junk that doesn't belong there.

 

The thing is, it's easier for the people to just do this ourselves through constitutional amendment than it is for us to convince our "leaders" to comply with our wishes and change the law.

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Medical Marijuana Fails To Make GOP Platform

 

...Medical cannabis has greatly improved the lives of patients with debilitating conditions, noted delegates in favor of the measure. They also said children “are being saved” by hemp products because their conditions often can’t be controlled with any other substance. ...

 

 

Opponents, presumably citing Reefer Madness, claimed that legalizing medical use would cause kids to become mass murderers.

 

No, really, I didn't make that up. That's really what they claimed and is really the argument that won the day for the GOP platform.

 

In high school in 1969 they held an assembly and played Reefer Madness - in all seriousness.

 

We knew it was coming and 1/2 the school smoked up before it.

 

The teachers seemed puzzled by all the laughter. :D

 

You'd have to be mentally deficient to be unable to make the connection between liquor prohibition in the Twenties and all the social harm it caused (can you spell Mafia children?) and current drug prohibition.

 

I suspect that the current WOD costs American society hundreds of $billions every year after everything is factored in. Just one item - what does 65% of your prison system cost annually?

 

This cure is far worse than the disease.

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Obama Continues Pardoning Drug Offenders

When he was arrested in 1990 for participating in a cocaine conspiracy, Ignatzio Giuliano was the 55-year-old owner of a dinner cruise boat in Fort Lauderdale. He is now an 81-year-old federal prisoner, suffering from multiple maladies and eager to spend time with his children and grandchildren before he dies. Thanks to President Obama, it looks like Giuliano will get that chance. Giuliano is one of 98 prisoners whose sentences Obama shortened yesterday and one of 42 who received life sentences for nonviolent drug crimes.

 

...

 

"I am an old man now," Giuliano told the ACLU in 2013. "I made mistakes in my life, but I am not a threat to society, and I begrudge no one. My co-defendants have been home for years. All I am asking is to be afforded the dignity to spend the last few years of my life with my family, and to die outside of prison." After spending a quarter of a century behind bars, Giuliano is now scheduled to be released next February.

 

 

Are we done punishing this guy yet?

 

Imposing life sentences on people like him back in the 90's didn't win the drug war. The harsh sentences increase risk, increasing returns, and there's an endless supply of people who think they won't get caught.

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We have a brand new constitutional amendment in FL. I voted for it. It wasn't as good as the version I collected signatures for, but is progress.

 

Thank$ for all the $peech, Morgan and Morgan. Now please shut up.

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I heard John Morgan's annoying voice a couple of times on the radio today.

 

He directly addressed one of my big problems with the initiative: we shouldn't be doing this through constitutional amendment.

 

His counter argument: almost 60% of the people voted for this two years ago. Tallahassee had a chance to respond. They didn't. So we'll do it the only way we can.

 

I completely agree. It's not often I completely agree with John Morgan about anything political.

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In 1986, Cathy Jordan was given three to five years to live.

 

Most of the doctors who told her that are now dead. She's still alive and smoking cannabis.

 

I have met her and her family and they're good people, no matter what Jeff Sessions says.

 

Two years ago today, my father died. Cannabis oil eased his suffering at the end. He was a good man too, no matter what Jeff Sessions says.

 

So I just dropped by this thread to day to say: fuck Jeff Sessions in the ass with a rusty railroad spike. And all his drug warrior elk too.

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Obama might get around to talking about drug policy once he leaves office

 

You can now buy marijuana legally on the entire West Coast. So why are we still waging the War on Drugs? It is a colossal failure. Why are we still dancing around the subject and making marijuana equivalent to a Schedule I drug?
Look, I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse. And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea. But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it. Typically how these classifications are changed are not done by presidential edict but are done either legislatively or through the DEA. As you might imagine, the DEA, whose job it is historically to enforce drug laws, is not always going to be on the cutting edge about these issues.

[Laughs] What about you? Are you gonna get on the cutting edge?
Look, I am now very much in lame-duck status. And I will have the opportunity as a private citizen to describe where I think we need to go. But in light of these referenda passing, including in California, I've already said, and as I think I mentioned on Bill Maher's show, where he asked me about the same issue, that it is untenable over the long term for the Justice Department or the DEA to be enforcing a patchwork of laws, where something that's legal in one state could get you a 20-year prison sentence in another. So this is a debate that is now ripe, much in the same way that we ended up making progress on same-sex marriage. There's something to this whole states-being-laboratories-of-democracy and an evolutionary approach. You now have about a fifth of the country where this is legal.

 

 

He talks like the DEA isn't under his control. Yeah, Obama, if you appoint someone who says cannabis is as dangerous as heroin, they might just act like they believe it. The fact is, he could have directed the DEA to start rescheduling at any point in time but it was never a priority for him. Congress could have done it too, even if Obama's DEA appointee objected.

 

He's right that the drug war is becoming increasingly untenable as more and more of the populace agrees with libertarians on this issue.

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Trump's Drug Warriors

 

Like Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's choice for attorney general, the man he wants to run the Department of Homeland Security, John F. Kelly, is an old-fashioned drug warrior who is alarmed by the ongoing collapse of marijuana prohibition.

 

...

 

"Kelly is a big-time drug war zealot," says Michael Collins, deputy director of the Drug Policy Alliance's national affairs office. "He is true believer in the drug war, and it's incredibly worrying that he could now head up Homeland Security."

 

The Department of Homeland Security includes Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration, all of which play a direct or indirect role in the war on drugs. Kelly, a former Marine Corps general with an unrealistic notion of what can be accomplished by ships, aircraft, and men in uniform, is well-qualified to oversee these doomed antidrug activities, which apply military logic to a project that has nothing to do with foreign aggression or national defense.

 

...

 

Kelly thinks a determined government can overcome economics.

 

...

 

Trump's understanding of drug interdiction is smilar to Kelly's. "I'm going to create borders," he promised in a campaign video. "No drugs are coming in. We're gonna build a wall. You know what I'm talking about. You have confidence in me. Believe me, I will solve the problem." Kelly, who shares the delusion that drug prohibition has been failing for more than a century simply because the government has not tried hard enough to enforce it, is a natural choice to guard Trump's magical wall.

 

 

People like Kelly and Sessions usually understand why communist regimes can't squelch black markets but somehow figure we can.

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Is anyone surprised by this?

 

You voted to go back to the Good Old Days.

 

Now you're going to get them.

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Is anyone surprised by this?

 

You voted to go back to the Good Old Days.

 

Now you're going to get them.

 

Go back?

 

Really, we never left. People like me are going to continue to get prohibition laws that we voted against.

 

You'd think that a noted Choom Gang member like Obama would be some help but that was not his priority. Hillary is more of a Duopoly establishment creature than Obama and would probably appoint drug warriors just like he did. Unlike Trump, she'd appoint gungrabby ones.

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Court says that going to college does not create reasonable suspicion of drug use.

 

But better safe than sorry, right? Although that sort of reasoning seems to prevail more often than not in drug testing cases, the 8th Circuit ruled that a general interest in discouraging drug use does not justify suspicionless urinalysis by government agencies. The majority opinion, written by Roger Wollman and joined by eight other judges, emphasizes that Linn State's drug testing requirement applied to all students, whether or not they were enrolled in "safety-sensitive" programs such as aviation maintenance or industrial electricity. Why should a student learning design drafting have to pass a drug test, Wollman wonders, when "the district court found that, based on Linn State's evidence, the greatest danger the program presented was 'that a student might accidentally trip and fall while navigating uneven ground during a site visit'"?

The 8th Circuit says the lack of category-specific safety concerns distinguishes this case from Supreme Court decisions upholding drug testing of railway workers after accidents and people seeking U.S. Customs positions that involve carrying guns or interdicting drugs. The appeals court adds that adults attending a college with no special history of drug problems are constitutionally distinct from minors attending high schools facing a real or perceived substance abuse "crisis," a context in which the Supreme Court has approved testing of all students participating in sports or other competitive extracurricular programs. "Linn State's drug testing policy was not developed in response to any crisis," the court notes. "Most significantly, Linn State's students are not children committed to the temporary custody of the state."

 

 

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This photo from the late 1990's came up on my Facebook memories today.

 

The message on the tree is probably related to moonshine still remains from the alcohol prohibition era that we found nearby.

 

mrpwarn.jpg

 

It says, "I know you now boys, so watch out, and where you live too! Mr P"

 

We have never found out who Mr P or the "boys" were but in an effort to find out, my father interviewed lots of old codgers, including a retired law enforcement officer who told him, "There was a still under every palmetto bush in them days!"

 

And the laws of supply and demand haven't changed.

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Alcohol Prohibition: Still Stupid

 

Of course, we don't have national alcohol prohibition any more and we mostly got rid of the associated black market.

 

Mostly.

 

The legislation came in response to a thriving illegal cross-border trade as Illinois residents place orders with businesses—many in Indiana—for liquor, wine, and beer unavailable or just extremely pricey through their state's tightly regulated and protected cartel.

 

"Alcohol is much more expensive in Illinois than it is in Indiana," reported a Chicago ABC affiliate in 2015. "And it is even pricier in Cook County, where the tax rate on liquor is more than five times higher than it is in the Hoosier state." The result is that "a six-bottle case of vodka that costs $167 in Indiana costs $226 in Illinois and is $18 more than that in Cook County."

 

 

 

At some point, high taxes and prohibition are indistinguishable in their effects.

 

That's one problem with the "Let's treat marijuana like alcohol" argument. It's one I've used myself, but it has another problem too:

 

We don't treat alcohol "like alcohol."

 

We treat beer and wine one way (I can create my own) and distilled liquor another way (distilling my own for personal use is illegal.)

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Slowly Staggering Toward A Sane Drug Policy

 

That guy moved from DC to Seattle and seems to like the quality of life upgrade.

 

And the marijuana—which I haven't yet tried as a resident, though I've perused one of the nearby pot shops—is legal (if overtaxed and overregulated). In fact, when I buy beer, wine, or liquor, signs nearby in the store indicate it's regulated by a body known as the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

While marijuana has typically resided in this country in a legal and regulatory silo reserved for drugs, its growing legal status means it's increasingly subject to regulations—like those enforced by the WSLCB—that traditionally pertain to agriculture and food.

 

 

My guess is that Jeff Sessions views the WSLCB as part of a criminal conspiracy to violate federal drug laws.

 

I don't know whether Washington State allows people to distill their own liquor. It's a no-no in Florida and I understand most places. They don't allow people to grow their own cannabis plants. I think the reason is the same: can't tax it.

 

Just this week, the Hemp Industries Association, a pro-hemp trade group, petitioned the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reverse a newly adopted final rule designating non-psychoactive hemp extract as a Schedule I drug. In the petition, the HIA argues in part the DEA rule is preempted by the 2014 Farm Bill, which limited the DEA's authority to prohibit a limited amount of hemp planting. The HIA also argues that the final rule suffers from procedural defects and wrongly concludes that "the mere presence of 'cannabinoids,' which are not controlled substances," is sufficient for the DEA to designate them as such. The HIA argues that these various flaws amount to an unconstitutional exercise of DEA power.

 

The Farm Bill does permit some limited planting of hemp. But state governments are the only ones (e.g., through a state university) who may do the planting. Individuals must seek a permit.

 

"The DEA bars farmers from growing hemp without a permit," I wrote in a 2013 column on hemp and the Farm Bill. "Not surprisingly, the DEA doesn't issue such permits."

 

 

Hypothetical permits are very much like the original Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which never collected any revenue because that was not the purpose.

 

As for industrial hemp, drug warriors really need to calm down. The stuff grows wild in ditches across the nation. You can smoke a giant joint of it and you'll only give yourself a headache from smoke inhalation. But enough from my list of things I know but should not. Fact is, it's an incredibly useful plant and if it would get you stoned, those ditches would be picked clean quickly.

 

I wish Moe were still around. He'd explain why cannabinoids are non-scary. Guns.

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Tom, as you know, I support you totally on all this but you might as well give it a rest for a few years - do you think Trump's bunch will be rational about drugs?

 

Pence on rationalizing drug laws? :lol:

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Tom, as you know, I support you totally on all this but you might as well give it a rest for a few years - do you think Trump's bunch will be rational about drugs?

 

Pence on rationalizing drug laws? :lol:

 

That could make this one of the best times to build consensus around ending the failed war on drugs. Either way, you continue to try and build consensus regardless of who is in power and what their views are. Just as with marriage equality, something like this is going to be forced on an an unwilling govt, regardless of what politicians try and take credit for it later.

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Tom, as you know, I support you totally on all this but you might as well give it a rest for a few years - do you think Trump's bunch will be rational about drugs?

 

Pence on rationalizing drug laws? :lol:

 

I expect little action, most of it hostile, from the feds. So pretty much a continuation of policies of previous administrations.

 

But you never know what Congress might do.

 

There are also the state level issues in the link above, over which Trump has little control.

 

Besides, I'm not real good at shutting up and giving things a rest. Guns.

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Colorado Hasn't Gotten Rid Of Black Market



Maintaining a profitable black market for a perfectly legal product is quite an accomplishment. But never fear, Colorado lawmakers have a plan—they're moving to ban marijuana advertisements by unlicensed vendors. That should learn 'em.

Except… Given the history of illegal dealings that have prospered even in the absence of Craigslist postings, that's probably not going to do the trick. It doesn't even begin to address the driving force behind the black market, which is taxes so sky high and regulations so burdensome that they make legal pot uncompetitive.



"An ounce of pot on the black market can cost as little as 180 dollars," according to PBS correspondent Rick Karr. "At the store Andy Williams owns, you have to pay around 240 dollars for an ounce. That's partly because the price includes a 15 percent excise tax, a 10 percent marijuana tax, the state sales tax, and Denver's marijuana sales tax."

Colorado also piles on expensive regulatory requirements to get a license, and bars people with criminal records from the business. So, if you don't have the money and legal savvy to cut through the red tape, and were caught selling marijuana before it was legalized, you can't deal in the stuff—within the law.


...

there may have been a hint, here and there, that piling regulations and taxes on a "legal" market is a very effective way of driving business into the shadows. Even confining ourselves to the world of stuff you set on fire and inhale, we can see that higher taxes mean more black market cigarettes and lower taxes mean fewer. 13.5 percent of cigarettes sold in Colorado are sourced on the black market, according to 2013 figures from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Tax Foundation. By comparison, New York, which piles $4.35 in taxes on every pack of smokes (with more added in New York City), in contrast to the $0.84 in Colorado, sees 58 percent of the cigarettes sold in the state smuggled from elsewhere. "One consequence of high state cigarette tax rates has been increased smuggling," the groups point out.

The traffic in booze is another legal market habitually afflicted by politicians with high taxes and burdensome red tape.

"Conservatively, illegal importation of alcohol into Michigan strips the State of at least $14 million each year," the Michigan Liquor Control Commission estimated in 2007, in an extended complaint about consumers dodging high taxes. Lower-tax neighboring states were named by officials as sources of adult beverages smuggled to avoid Michigan's excessive government take.

 

 

At some point, high taxes become indistinguishable from outright prohibition in their effects. Which was kind of the point of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.

 

We still have twenty years left to show that we can learn this lesson within a century. Guns.

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Trump's Stupid Wall Won't Win The Drug War

 

"It's important to understand that the Drug War created the cartels, not the other way around," says Bienenstock. "We've been wasting trillions of dollars for nearly 50 years on wholly ineffective, and even counterproductive, efforts to stop the flow of drugs into the United States, and those efforts have only made the cartels bigger, stronger, and more dangerous."

 

...

 

"No amount of enforcement, even military-level, can remove the financial incentive of the black market," says Bienenstock, the author of How To Smoke Pot (Properly): A Highbrow Guide to Getting High. "In fact, every increase in enforcement only makes the black market more lucrative, and the fight to control this illicit trade more deadly and destructive."

 

The less expensive, more effective way to reduce the flow of drugs over the border is loosen drug laws here in America. In fact, liberalized marijuana laws in some states are already having an effect. The Washington Post reported in March that "marijuana seizures along the southwest border tumbled to their lowest level in at least a decade."

 

"Agents snagged roughly 1.5 million pounds of marijuana at the border, down from a peak of nearly 4 million pounds in 2009," the Post reported. "The DEA has even found evidence that the flow of illegal marijuana is starting to reverse, with some cases of U.S. marijuana being smuggled into Mexico."

 

In December 2014, NPR News spoke to a marijuana grower in Mexico who described a similar economic phenomenon created by the legalization of marijuana in some parts of the United States.

 

"Two or three years ago, a kilogram of marijuana was worth $60 to $90," the grower told NPR. "Now they're paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It's a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they'll run us into the ground."

 

Trump knows this, even if he doesn't say so anymore.

 

In April 1990, during a luncheon hosted by the Miami Herald, Trump described U.S. drug policy as "a joke" and said there was only one sure way to win the War on Drugs.

 

"You have to legalize drugs to win that war," Trump said. "You have to take the profit away from these drug czars."

 

 

The 1990 Donald was right.

 

I used to say stuff like that back in the 1990s. Republican drug warriors would freak out.

 

I still say it. I'll keep saying it after the stupid wall fails to win the stupid drug war. Guns.

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Psychedelics Help Reduce Opioid Addition

 

Now, a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology has found that experiences with psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms are associated with decreased risk of opioid abuse and dependence among respondents with a history of illegal opioid use. Psychedelic use is associated with 27% reduced risk of past-year opioid dependence and 40% reduced risk of past-year opioid abuse. Other than marijuana use, which was associated with 55% reduced risk of past-year opioid abuse, no other illegal drug was associated with reduced risk of past-year opioid dependence or abuse.

 

 

So one of the bigger obstacles for those who are addicted to opioids is prohibition. Guns.

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Reefer Madness!

 

Or something.

 

Sheriff Kenneth Furlong of Carson City recently appeared on the local news to speak about the violent crime that marijuana is responsible for creating.

 

Second to domestic violence, marijuana is at the top of our list of violent acts, here in Carson City,” Furlong said.

 

“One pulls out a gun, shoots the other right straight through the heart. Marijuana found at the residence,” he added.

 

It was an open and shut case apparently, marijuana was found at the residence of a murder, therefore marijuana must be responsible for the murder, very solid logic sheriff.

 

A meth user, we call them tweekers, they just spin in circles. They don’t get anything done. He may threaten you, but he just can’t get out of that circle of the effect of the drugs. Same with the heroin. But the marijuana user is a clear-headed person,” Furlong explained.

 

The sheriff said that the culture of marijuana causes people to do violent things.

 

 

 

It wasn't any "culture of alcohol" that produced the violent black market during Prohibition. And it wasn't guns either.

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Reefer Madness!

 

Or something.

 

Sheriff Kenneth Furlong of Carson City recently appeared on the local news to speak about the violent crime that marijuana is responsible for creating.

 

Second to domestic violence, marijuana is at the top of our list of violent acts, here in Carson City,” Furlong said.

 

“One pulls out a gun, shoots the other right straight through the heart. Marijuana found at the residence,” he added.

 

It was an open and shut case apparently, marijuana was found at the residence of a murder, therefore marijuana must be responsible for the murder, very solid logic sheriff.

 

A meth user, we call them tweekers, they just spin in circles. They don’t get anything done. He may threaten you, but he just can’t get out of that circle of the effect of the drugs. Same with the heroin. But the marijuana user is a clear-headed person,” Furlong explained.

 

The sheriff said that the culture of marijuana causes people to do violent things.

 

 

 

It wasn't any "culture of alcohol" that produced the violent black market during Prohibition. And it wasn't guns either.

 

Good grief. Heroin and meth addicts can be very violent, especially when they are looking for the next fix. Stoners looking for the next fix are generally just a bit melancholy.

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Reefer Madness!

 

Or something.

 

Sheriff Kenneth Furlong of Carson City recently appeared on the local news to speak about the violent crime that marijuana is responsible for creating.

 

Second to domestic violence, marijuana is at the top of our list of violent acts, here in Carson City,” Furlong said.

 

“One pulls out a gun, shoots the other right straight through the heart. Marijuana found at the residence,” he added.

 

It was an open and shut case apparently, marijuana was found at the residence of a murder, therefore marijuana must be responsible for the murder, very solid logic sheriff.

 

A meth user, we call them tweekers, they just spin in circles. They don’t get anything done. He may threaten you, but he just can’t get out of that circle of the effect of the drugs. Same with the heroin. But the marijuana user is a clear-headed person,” Furlong explained.

 

The sheriff said that the culture of marijuana causes people to do violent things.

 

 

 

It wasn't any "culture of alcohol" that produced the violent black market during Prohibition. And it wasn't guns either.

 

Yea, he's missing some basic history lessons. My guess is he's pandering for re-election. In his defense, if you include the 'culture of marijuana' to include the entire supply and distribution networks all the way down to Mexico, then there's some truth but but I don't think he was being that reflective - not from the quotes.

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The Marijuana Exception To Federalism

 

...Sessions, a former Alabama senator, also claims to believe in federalism. After the death of William Rehnquist in 2005, Sessions gave a floor speech in which he praised the chief justice for "reestablish[ing] a respect for state law and state sovereignty." Sessions noted that the federal government, under its authority to regulate interstate commerce, "has broad power, but there are limits to the reach of the Commerce Clause."

 

When it comes to marijuana, however, Sessions has little patience for those limits. "It does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States," he observed on Monday, "whether a state legalizes it or not."

 

In 2005 the Supreme Court upheld continued enforcement of the federal ban on marijuana in states that have legalized the drug. But the Court did so based on a very broad reading of the Commerce Clause—the sort of interpretation that usually irks conservative constitutionalists.

 

The case involved homegrown marijuana used by patients in states that recognize the plant as a medicine. "If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause," observed dissenting Justice Clarence Thomas, "then it can regulate virtually anything—and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers."

...

 

Author Jacob Sullum has been on something of an anti-Sessions tear the past few days, producing an article a day on this subject. He's right as usual.

 

Drug warriors like Sessions were happy when the 6-3 majority (counting Scalia's concurrence) said that homegrown cannabis for personal medical use was a part of interstate commerce.

 

The same people didn't have much to say a couple of months later when that result was applied to homegrown machine guns for personal use.

 

An individual mandate not to grow or use cannabis was fine with drug warriors like Sessions but that individual mandate contained in Obamacare was a huge problem because it violates the commerce clause.

 

Scalia's concurrence stating that Raich's marijuana was "never more than an instant" from interstate commerce drew this response from O'Connor in the primary dissent:

 

we could have surmised in Lopez that guns in school zones are “never more than an instant from the interstate market” in guns already subject to extensive federal regulation

 

 

Sessions and his elk don't seem to understand that the way we treat one thing can affect the way another is treated. They probably don't realize Favre was the best either.

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They only care about things being treated the way they want them treated.

 

All the talk of Constitutionality is just smoke - grasping at any rationale that will support their philosophy.

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They only care about things being treated the way they want them treated.

 

All the talk of Constitutionality is just smoke - grasping at any rationale that will support their philosophy.

 

If by "they" you mean the Duopoly, I agree. Different things, same attitude. Tools are things too.

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Portugal Abandoned The Drug War And Won

 

In 2001 Portugal shocked the world and voted to decriminalize all drugs in response to a growing heroin problem.

 

...

 

Drug use among 15- to 24-year-olds has decreased dramatically and drug-induced deaths dropped from 80 in 2001 to 16 in 2012. Before 2001 Portugal confined around 100,000 drug users. Within the first 10 years of the policy’s adoption, this number halved. Today Portugal boasts one of the lowest drug-usage rates in all of Europe.

 

...

 

By redirecting resources previously allocated to arresting and jailing drug users, Portugal has not only curbed its drug problem but has created a healthier society. When asked what the global community should take away from Portugal’s policy, Alex Steven, president of the International Society of the Study of Drug Policy, said, “The main lesson to learn (is that) decriminalizing drugs doesn’t necessarily lead to disaster, and it does free up resources for more effective responses to drug-related problems.”

 

 

Rehab often fails but prison pretty much always fails. Guns.

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Some of my friends are in Tallahassee trying to bring a bit of sanity to our legislators. They're enjoying their Cannabis 101 event banner.

 

I'm glad food and fiber made the headline. The focus is usually on medical and recreational uses of cannabis but hemp farming has a long history in the US because it's an incredibly useful plant that grows like a weed. If Congress had tried to pass a prohibitive hemp tax in 1937 it would have failed. People were very familiar with the plant and unafraid of it.

 

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 passed with almost no debate. Same plant, scary Mexican name. Guns.

 

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Jeff Sessions Is Slightly Less Awful Than Obama's First DEA Chief

 

At assessing the relative dangers of heroin and cannabis, at least.

 

"I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that's only slightly less awful," reads the text of a speech Sessions delivered today to law enforcement in Richmond, Virginia.

 

 

But Obama supporters wouldn't say it was ridiculous when his DEA chief could not tell which was more dangerous because D and Trump supporters won't say this is ridiculous because R. Guns.

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Make it not hurt so!

 

“Star Trek” actor Sir Patrick Stewart has revealed he uses cannabis to treat his arthritis.

 

The 76-year-old had painful and distorted hands before seeing a doctor in LA two years ago.

 

But he says cannabis-based spray, ointment and pills, which he buys legally, are working wonders.

 

 

I wonder whether Jeff Sessions will remind him that he does not buy those products legally? Guns.

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A give 'em credit for trying hat tip to these two:

 

FL Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, and FL Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, have filed HB 1403 and SB 1662. The two bills reduce penalties for small amounts of recreational cannabis to a civil violation.

 

 

It shouldn't even be a civil violation any more than possession of a bottle of booze should be, but their proposal is at least a lot better than current law here in FL.

 

Unfortunately (on this issue anyway) they are Democrats and are marginalized in the FL legislature. That's sometimes bad for sure.

 

The Republicans who run the place are more in the Jeff Sessions mold. And they are faithfully representing quite a few of their voters. I gathered signatures for a cannabis ballot initiative and asked some of those people for their signatures. They were genuinely offended by the question. As bad as when I ask about guns.

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This girl used to measure her time between seizures in hours, back when she was using legal pharmaceuticals to try to control them.

 

Now she's using illegal cannabis oil.

 

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One year and counting as of March 19th.

 

But only a pothead would think that a year without seizures is better than hours, right Life Buoy?

 

From the Team Alexis FB page:

 

Alexis Bortell, a young Texan forced to flee the state in order to receive effective treatment for her seizure disorder celebrated one full year without a single seizure yesterday. Alexis’s parents sought refuge in Colorado where physicians were able to successfully treat her seizures with cannabis oil.

 

 

 

Two years seizure free for Alexis. No known medical use? That's what Schedule 1 means.

 

 

How would an 11 year old girl celebrate 2 years seizure free? DRIVING around the farm!

 

Tucking the girls in to bed tonight, we can't help thinking back to what life was like before we discovered medical cannabis. When we were still in Texas and Alexis hadn't gone more than 3 days without a seizure. At that time, it was difficult to picture two years seizure free, let alone Alexis driving. How quickly the world changes.

 

We know there are parents out there right now who are just like we were 2 years ago, scared, confused, and willing to do whatever needed for your child to live a happy life. We are proof that there is hope.

 

Fast-forward two years, and Alexis just finished writing a book to help the medical cannabis community by making cannabis a dinner table conversation. We are proud to announce that "Let's Talk About Medical Cannabis" is planned for release on April 20th 2017.

 

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Trey Radel explains why he's not "just another tea party asswipe who got busted for drugs and voted to drug test food stamp recipients."

He wrote a book about what it's like to come to Washington and "really screw up."




The truth was that it had not been a single vote to "drug test these dirty dogs getting handouts!" It was part of the thousand-plus-page farm bill loaded with other provisions, and it gave states more power over how they wanted to administer their food stamps. I believe in "to each state its own," especially when it comes to addressing local issues and concerns. I thought that Washington's constant "one size fits all" mandates were doomed to fail.

So while I am a Republican who is so libertarian that I could have been labeled a liberal because of my determination to end the War on Drugs and work with Democrats, it didn't matter. I was just another tea party asswipe who got busted for drugs and voted to drug test food stamp recipients.

This was especially tough for me to take because I was and am such a staunch opponent of the War on Drugs.

Our drug policies in the United States should be focusing on rehabilitation, not incarceration. There's a fiscally conservative argument for this because we throw away billions of dollars a year locking people up and turning our backs on them. Many times nonviolent drug offenders return to society lacking skills to get a job, or they're turned away from jobs because of their record. Worse, they come out as hardened criminals, which places an even greater economic burden on society.

Ironically, shortly before my bust, I worked with Democrats to cosponsor the Justice Safety Valve Act. In fact, I was one of only a few Republicans to do so. The goal: Get rid of mandatory minimums and allow judges to impose penalties below the statutory sentences. We often see cases of nonviolent drug offenders who get locked up for years only to come out with little to offer society and a society with little to offer them. It's a catch-22 with terrible results for both the individual and society. Furthermore, young Hispanics and African American men are disproportionately locked up, making life that much harder for those who have had the deck stacked against them from birth.


It's too bad. Locking people up for drug use was a stupid answer that didn't work and mandatory minimums are just doubling down on stupid.

I looked up the status of the Justice Safety Valve Act.

Sponsored in the Senate by Rand Paul with Patrick Leahy and Jeff Merkley as cosponsors.

Sponsored in the House by Bobby Scott with 13 cosponsors. Now down from "a few" to just two Republicans. Guns.

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Im presently in a drug use decriminalized country ....pot...for personal consumption .

 

My friend is a school teacher...all her students are stoned.

 

Prepare for this new world of underachievement and behavioral problems.

 

Dope heads.......

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Im presently in a drug use decriminalized country ....pot...for personal consumption .

 

My friend is a school teacher...all her students are stoned.

 

Prepare for this new world of underachievement and behavioral problems.

 

Dope heads.......

 

Prohibition isn't saving the world from weed, never has, and ending it is proving to solve more problems than it causes in place after place.

 

Meanwhile, in Congress, we have a Stampede of the Dinosaurs

 

When DiFi and Chuck Grassley get together, bad things will ensue. Now they want to save the world from imaginary meth candy.

 

Which is to say that it would take aim not so much at coke or meth—we await still the introduction of Sour Kids Meth and Nerds (Now With Even More Cocaine)!—but at various marijuana-laced edibles for sale in states that legalized recreational and medical marijuana. Indeed, despite claiming "many instances" of the pusher man wooing innocent boys and girls to the pleasures of coke and meth, Feinstein and Grassley provide no examples in their press releases or legislation. And while it's true that some (legal) pot peddlers have marketed candy-bar-looking products for adults, legalization in Colorado has not increased marijuana use by adolescents.

 

 

I have never heard of "meth candy" before today and seriously doubt it exists. Just a couple of drug war dinosaurs still fighting the idiotic war on weed. Guns.

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Im presently in a drug use decriminalized country ....pot...for personal consumption .

 

My friend is a school teacher...all her students are stoned.

 

Prepare for this new world of underachievement and behavioral problems.

 

Dope heads.......

 

Colorado's Governor didn't want legalization

 

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper didn't want his residents to approve 2012's ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana. But in a lengthy interview with The Denver Post's Alicia Wallace, the craft beer-brewing governor says the "worst nightmares" of legalization opponents "haven't materialized."

 

"We haven't seen a spike in teenage use," Hickenlooper told Wallace. "We haven't seen a giant increase in people's consumption of marijuana. Seems like the people who were using marijuana before it was legal, still are. Seems like the people who weren't using marijuana before it was legal, still aren't."

 

 

Exactly what my elk predicted at the time. Guns.

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